Not Without My Facebook…or The Next-Gen Workplace

According to a recent report by Cisco, one in three college students and young professionals ranked the Internet as important as food, air and water. These under-30 folks don’t have a working memory of Life Before. Like television, it’s just always been there.

But it goes deeper than that. Two-thirds of colleges students admitted they’d ask about a company’s social media policies during a job interview. The sticky question “What will this position pay?” has been replaced with “What are your thoughts on Facebook during work hours?” Fifty-six percent wouldn’t even consider a job offer that banned social media. Wow.

And it appears the next generation is willing to forgo a higher salary for more flexibility. One in three prefer mobility, social media freedom and device flexibility over more pay.

Give me Facebook. Or give me death.

Forty-one percent of those companies surveyed claimed they used attractive social media policies and device flexibility to attract new talent. Four in five college students want the freedom to choose the device they get to use.


As a freelancer, I work with several computers, an iPhone and even a GPS. I’m just as saddled with devices as the next person. And I’ve never considered the restrictions others may have who work in an office setting. It appears the next generation prefers a work-at-home solution. Three in five believe they have the right to work remotely.

Corporate learning and development professionals could benefit from this intelligence as they devise training programs for the next generation. These are exciting times full of possibility.

If given a choice, how would you prefer to work? Remotely? In an office setting? A combination of both?


  1. Adi Gaskell

    November 7, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Hi Christine, thanks for adding to the debate. Like you I’d be lost without social media, and do kinda find it ironic that many of the naysayers are saying so via social media.

    I interviewed Alison Maitland and Peter Thomson recently. They’ve written a book on Future Work. Worth checking out sometime.

    1. powerofslow

      November 7, 2011 at 10:53 am

      Agreed! The irony indeed! Thanks for your comments. Much appreciate your insights and great study references. I’ll look into the book. I’m also reading The Shift

  2. Heidi Smith Luedtke

    November 8, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    It’s interesting how younger folks view flexible work arrangements and FB as entitlements, not as perks. With today’s unemployment rate, it seems strange people feel they can demand these “nice to haves” instead of focusing on “need to haves” (like a decent salary and some job stability!) But maybe they’re using FB to shop around for their next position…

    1. powerofslow

      November 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      Yes, it’s a different world they’re living in!

  3. j

    November 28, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    As an IT professional, I have grown used to working from my couch, grandma’s house, coffee shop, my office, your office, the mall food court, airport lounges, hotel lobbies, the back of van, etc. Basically, any place where I have acceptable wireless connectivity. That is the one thing I ask about, if I have nothing going on, do I need to be in the office?

    I don’t care about FB and other social sites really. For me the most important thing is being able to work from where ever I happen to be. Especially considering most of the work I would do from the office would be remote any way. I would take a job with that kind of flexibility and less pay. Time with the family and a flexible work schedule is priceless.

    1. powerofslow

      November 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      Flexibility is key! Thanks for your comments!

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